Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls record COVID-19 numbers a media-fueled 'hysteria'

click to enlarge Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls record COVID-19 numbers a media-fueled 'hysteria'
photo courtesy Governor's Press Office

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dismissed the ongoing hospitalization crisis caused by COVID-19 spikes in the state as media-fueled "hysteria."

During an event in Miami on Tuesday, DeSantis responded to a reporter's question about the record numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state. He dismissed concerns about the ongoing spread of the delta variant in state as "fear-mongering."

“I think it’s important to point out because obviously media does hysteria, you try to fear-monger, you try to do this stuff," he said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "And when they’ll talk about hospitalizations, our hospitals are open for business.”

Beyond the horrific framing of hospitals as "open for business," it's worth noting that many area hospitals are anything but open. In the Orlando area, AdventHealth has gone to "code black," canceling all non-emergency surgeries and limiting visitors to the hospital.

“Cases continue to rise sharply with no sign that the surge is beginning to decelerate,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “This important step will help us create more resources for our clinical teams, and ensure that we can continue to care for our community.”

DeSantis remains unconcerned. Following the overall tack of declining expectations for people living in the United States, the governor trotted out a "at least you aren't dead" defense. (For the record, over 39,000 people have died in the state of Florida since the pandemic began.)

“I think it’s very important that we understand that the best defenses we have are the combination of the natural immunity that’s been built up, and our seniors-first vaccination efforts,” DeSantis said. “I think that’s why you have such a steep decline in mortality year over year. And look, at the end of the day, I would rather have 5,000 cases amongst 20-year-olds over 500 cases among seniors.”

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